Atheism and Faith Compared

Mark 6.34

Famous militant atheists make many mistakes in their claims, and here are some, along with powerful proofs of God. Here too are the strong attractions of atheism, together with the deep and lasting losses. Also, here are the immense gains of belief in God and the experience of conversion.

‘And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd, and he began to teach them many things.’

And our subject in the brief time we have this evening is ‘Atheism and Faith Compared.’ And I begin with this passage, with this particular scripture concerning Christ’s mighty compassion on people who he saw as being sheep without a shepherd. They had no lead, no guide, no guardian in the spiritual life. In the life which is lived for eternity, they were wandering about, and they were in great danger. The shepherd obviously is wiser than the sheep. The shepherd is the Lord. The shepherd in human terms obviously thinks and reasons and understands what’s necessary for the sheep. Without him they wander, and they starve, and they suffer attack, and they perish. But with him then they’re taken to sound pastures, and they feed.

Well, Christ is marked by his compassion. What famous words they are. He was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd. Well friends, that is unbelief in God. That’s what it represents. That is atheism. That is hostility to God and belief in God and his standards. And it’s seen by the Saviour as being a sheep without a shepherd, with no purpose, with no direction. Self is all that can be known to exist. That’s the possible definition of atheism. Self, the atheist, not necessarily all atheists, but the atheist strictly speaking, is the ultimate selfish being. Self is all that can be known to exist. Now of course we have to generalise. There are many atheists in the world and in our city who are gentlemen, and they have quite high standards of conduct, and they’re truthful people, or seek to be. And that’s because while they don’t believe in God, they are half Christian. They still accept the Christian ethic.

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